Preventing Windows 10 Installation

Like others, I have completely functional computers running Windows 7 that I do not want upgraded to Windows 10. Among other things, there is is no guarantee that everything will work or that there will be drivers for all the various types of hardware used by the computer.

I do have some computers using Windows 10. But the bottom line is that I want the operating system to be my choice, not Microsoft’s.

Figuring out how to disable a Windows 10 installation can be a giant puzzle if you consult Microsoft. Fortunately, Steve Gibson — original founder of Spinrite for you older users — has provided a free, simple utility, to stop the Windows 10 march into automatic installation.

Go to this page:
grc.com/never10.htm

Download the file and run. It will tell you if Windows 10 installation is enabled or not and give you the option to decide what you want to happen — install or not install.

If your operating system has already downloaded Windows 10 files, the Never 10 program will detect them and offer to remove them. Removing them can free up to 6 gigs of space.

I’ve run Never 10 on several computers with no ill effects. Having been a long-time fan of Steve Gibson, I also have confidence that this free utility is harmless.

Internet getting downsized

With a simple stroke of the keyboard, the Internet is getting downsized to internet.

On June 1, 2016, the AP Stylebook will change it’s style designation from Internet to internet. Another related change is Web to web. The announcement stated “We will lowercase internet and web June 1, when we release the 2016 AP Stylebook.”

This may well be a mind-shift for many, but for people who type, it’s one more way to be faster on the keyboard. Ever notice how IT folks frequently ignore uppercase?

Find the AP Stylebook here.

Countdown Timers and Self-Stopping Hot Water Kettles Help Writers

I have a long history of spacing out crucial activities when writing at the computer. I’ve forgotten about water filling up the bathtub, which didn’t have a properly working overflow drain. I’ve burned up two teapots on the stove. I’ve left the bathroom exhaust fan run more than necessary at greater expense. And other events I’d rather not remember.

Because of all these untoward events that have taken my time away from editorial work, I’ve begun to convert many activities into timed events.

I no longer use a teapot on the stove. Instead, I use an electric hot water kettle that shuts off automatically when water begins to boil. I love this thing. I turn it on and I know it is to OK forget about it. I have gained tremendous peace of mind and don’t waste time and money hunting around again for another teapot.

I replaced the wall switch for the bathroom exhaust fan with a mechanical count-down timer.

There are scads of different timers to help prevent mental anguish and ruined propery. Two such devices I’ve found useful are 1) the Woods 50030 Indoor Countdown Timer Outlet and 2) the Belkin Conserve Socket Energy-Saving Outlet with Timer. Each provides a different amount of time for count down. Se the time and press a button. whatever is plugged in — such as a heating pad == will turn off automatically.

Overall, these devices are becoming so prolific and affordable that incorporating them into the writing life is easy.

As for drawing water into the bathtub. Well, I’ve switched mostly to showers where I am present most of the time. Otherwise, I have a hard and fast rule. When drawing the water, I can never be near a computer.

— Bruce Miller

Dropbox Drawback with Kindle

My elderly neighbor tried on her own to update her Kindle 2nd Edition. Desparate, she gave me a call. Sure enough, she was having problems because the Kindle was having problems. Once I got those problems resolved, it was time to apply the software update by copying the file from the computer to the Kindle via USB connection. Alas, it would not work. Every attempt at copying resulted in an error message on the Windows 7 computer stating that properties of the file might be lost. Even the Amazon helper on the phone with me was stumped. We both did some fast research and discovered the problem. For reasons unknown, downloading the update file (*.bin) into a Dropbox folder was creating the error. The Amazon helper suggested there is some sort of untoward interaction between Dropbox and Amazon’s DRM (digital rights management). Once I downloaded the file into a non-Dropbox folder the update proceeded without a problem. Could this happen to other files? Maybe. Something to keep in mind if you run into a similar problem.

Wireless Switches For Faster Action

When I’m ready to get down on my big computer I want the dual monitors to be on by the time I get into my chair. The chair is on the opposite side of the room’s entrance.

To fix this problem I spent about $20 for a wireless, remote switch. I have the remote switch next to the door. When I walk in I push a button and the remote switch turns on power to the monitors. By the time I’m in my chair the monitors are on and ready to go.

In the operating system I had to set the monitors to never turn off when on AC power even when not in use. This is not a problem, though, because I click the off button on the way out and the monitors turn off.

In similar fashion, I have an HD radio in the basement tuned to BBC World Service. (In Seattle we can get BBC World Service on a digital FM station). When I enter the basement to work, I click a button on a remote switch to turn on the radio and by the time I’m engaged in basement activity, I’m catching up on world news.

There are scads of remote wireless switches from which to choose. The Woods 13569 Indoor Plug-In Wireless Remote Control w/ 3 Outlets, White is just one example.

A variation of wireless switches are motion detectors. You could replace the wireless switch with a motion detector turn on power to monitors automatically as you enter the room.